Archive for May, 2009

Canada Environment Week

I have just learned about this!

From Environment Canada Web site;

Canadian Environment Week
May 31 – June 6, 2009

Protecting Canada’s natural environment reaps a world of benefits for Canadians, from strengthening the economy to enhancing health and quality of life.

Canadian Environment Week is the perfect time to celebrate our achievements and initiatives in tackling climate change and reducing air pollution.

Your Actions Count

With hundreds of events planned, it’s easy to get involved this Environment Week.  Take a look at the Community Action Board to learn more about what your community is doing for Environment Week and how you can participate.

Five Easy Ways to Celebrate Environment Week

Canadian Environment Week is a time to focus on simple changes that contribute to a greener future for everyone. You don’t have to look far to find easy ways to green your lifestyle or appreciate the beauty of nature. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Buy locally grown food. Take some time to visit local Farmers Markets and learn more about the benefits of choosing locally grown foods!
  2. Change at least one light bulb to a compact fluorescent. Those qualified to ENERGY STAR® use about a quarter as much electricity as a conventional light bulb to produce the same amount of light. Compact fluorescents cost a bit more than incandescents, but they last up to ten times longer.
  3. Take a walk on the wild side. Go for a day hike on a local nature trail and revel in the beauty and serenity you’re trying to preserve for future generations.
  4. Turn off your computer when you’re not using it. A home computer, monitor, and printer can use up to 200 watts of electricity. At both work and home, set your monitor to go into “sleep” mode if it is idle for more than 5 minutes, and your computer to do the same after 15.
  5. Carry a cloth bag or keep one in your car. Avoid traditional plastic bags in favour of reusable totes.  Most plastic bags wind up in landfill sites, where they can take up to a thousand years to biodegrade.  A cloth tote is durable, easy to carry and much more eco-friendly!

World Environment Day (June 5)

Canadian Environment Week is held during the first week of June to coincide with World Environment Day (June 5). This special day was designated by the United Nations in 1972 to stimulate political action on the environment and empower people from every corner of the globe to become active agents of sustainable and equitable development.

Clean Air Day (June 3)

Clean Air Day (June 3) raises awareness and encourages action on clean air and climate change issues. Canadians can show their commitment by participating in activities that contribute to cleaner air, healthier communities and a better quality of life for all.

The transportation sector is a major contributor of air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions.  For Clean Air Day, why not renew or begin a commitment to sustainable transportation?  When you use public transit, cycle, walk and rollerblade, you can reduce your personal emissions, save money used on fuel, contribute to your personal health and much more.

Oceans Day (June 8th)

Oceans Day is a time to remember the critical role of oceans worldwide.  This international celebration has grown from a ripple into a tidal wave of awareness about the importance of our oceans.

Rivers to Oceans Week (June 8 – 14)

Rivers to Oceans Week (June 8 – 14) is an opportunity to work together to create an understanding of Canada’s watersheds, our connection to fresh- and salt-water environments and what everyone can do to protect and keep watersheds healthy for people and wildlife.

Commuter Challenge (May 31 – June 6)

The Commuter Challenge (May 31 – June 6) is a nation-wide event that promotes friendly competition among organizations and cities to see who can get the highest percentage of employees out of single occupancy vehicles and into healthier and cleaner modes of commuting such as walking, cycling, transit, carpooling, vanpooling and teleworking.

For more information on Government of Canada environmental initiatives, visit our ecoACTION website at: www.ecoaction.gc.ca

Our forests, our legacy

These are pictures from the 2006 wind storms that fell hundreds of trees in Stanley Park.

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I wondered what became of all that wood.

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While the province sold most of it to the highest bidder, one local company was able to salvage some.

A few weeks ago I volunteered at EPIC, the  largest Environmental show and convention on the west coast of Canada.

While the vendors were impressive, and every conceivable product showcased, one company stood out to me.

The Woodland Flooring Company Ltd

I met the General Manager Steve Roscoe at the show. He had a booth with beautiful wood products made from B.C. lumber and milled in B.C.

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I was interested to see some of the Blue Mountain Pine Floors

They come from wood salvaged from trees killed by the Mountain Pine Beetle.  The Pine Beetle has devastated forests throughout B.C.  The unseasonably warm weather has allowed them to thrive over the past decade and caused the death of numerous forests. The beetles leave a blue stain on the outer sapwood layers of the trees.

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The trees are standing dead in many forests, but Woodland Flooring has been able to create beautiful flooring and other wood products using these resources.The company’s  products are sustainable and produced from only Salvaged,  FSC “Eco” Certified or Small Family Owned Woodlots.They go one step further and use OSMO Hard wax oil. It’s a natural plant based oil and wax finish, specially imported from OSMO in Europe.  It is 99% VOC Free and offers exceptional durability.If you are in the market for flooring, or other wood products, be sure to check out Woodland Flooring, a B.C. company with exceptional environmental standards and quality you can see.

Tradeworks- Vancouver B.C.

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I bought this wooden magnet at EPIC this year.

This was at a booth by Tradeworks, Their booth was filled with beautiful wood boxes, small furniture and wood products.

Tradeworks is Vancouver based pre-employment program designed for woman who live in the inner city.   This  organization teaches woman basic joinery and woodworking skills.  The program also provides information on registered trades and apprenticeship programs and includes training in First Aid.

It also provides valuable  work experience on community projects; these opportunities permit students to refine their new skills.

I love this little magnet, the message is simple, and the people who work for this program are enthusiastic and driven to support women to help them become employable and skilled.

This was one of the least expensive purchases I made at EPIC this weekend, but the value behind it is immeasurable.

SHOP SMARTER

That is the tag line for EPIC the Vancouver Sun  Sustainable living expo, on now at the New Vancouver convention centre.

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EPIC is in it’s third year. and I am volunteering at this incredible event for the third year as well. I will be blogging about it on my new blog, URBNblog and writing reviews of all the products I have bought, tested and tried at EPIC.

So what does EPIC stand for? Ethical Progressive Intelligent Consumer.  This is the place  to try new and interesting products, and sample things you may have always wanted to.  There are  many contests and  give aways, as well as great bargains.  Fashion shows and  cooking demos, speakers, and a chance for people to connect  with the entrepreneurs who are driving the “green” movement in B.C ,  North America, and even Australia!

This is a exposition and marketplace of  ethical consumerism. If you already support fair trade, organic and high quality products this is an opportunity to get some great deals!

It runs from Friday May 8th – May 10th 2009

Soil Erosion

“The threat of nuclear weapons and man’s ability to destroy the environment are really alarming. And yet there are other almost imperceptible changes – I am thinking of the exhaustion of our natural resources, and especially of soil erosion – and these are perhaps more dangerous still, because once we begin to feel their repercussions it will be too late.” (p144 of The Dalai Lama’s Little Book of Inner Peace: 2002, Element Books, London)

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URBNgreen
URBNgreen is committed to education and environmental stewardship. Our objective is share information about what people are doing locally and around the world to create a sustainable future.
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